Pensioner, 63, is handcuffed by police and threatened with a Taser after trimming a hedge with shears that were mistaken for a sword
- Jonathan Dalton was ordered to drop the ‘weapon’ while walking home in Essex
- The retired railway worker had just trimmed a nearby hedge with garden shears
- He was handcuffed and threatened with a stun gun, leaving him ‘quite shaken up’
- Mr Dalton described the incident last week as ‘an assault on society’s freedoms’
Jonathan Dalton, 63, was ordered to drop the ‘weapon’ while he walked home with his garden shears
A pensioner was handcuffed by police and threatened with a Taser after a passer-by mistook his garden shears for a sword.
Jonathan Dalton, 63, was ordered to drop the ‘weapon’ while he walked home in Abberton, Essex after trimming a nearby hedge last week.
The retired railway worker was put in cuffs and had the electrical stun gun pointed at him before it became clear he had simply been using the shears for gardening.
Mr Dalton, who has never been in trouble with the police, described the incident as ‘an assault on society’s freedoms.’
He said: ‘I had just been out doing my social duty when ten minutes later I was walking home.
‘I heard a siren and the next minute they were saying put the weapon down.
‘But they were just shears and I was just carrying them.
‘They pointed the Taser at me and put me in handcuffs.
‘I was quite shaken up and frightened.’
Officers were alerted by two members of the public within a matter of minutes of each other who said they had seen a man carrying a small sword and a knife.
Officers were alerted by two members of the public within a matter of minutes of each other who said they had seen a man carrying a small sword and a knife
They rushed to the scene where Mr Dalton was forced to explain his innocent actions.
‘They let me go after I had explained the situation then two officers offered me a lift home,’ he said.
‘I told them I could make it myself but they said they would have had to take the shears to the police station.
‘I then accepted and they take me home so I could keep the shears.’
A spokesman for Essex Police said: ‘We were contacted just after 8.25am on last Wednesday with reports of a man seen with what was described to the call taker as a small sword in Mersea Road, Abberton.
‘We then received a further call from another person reporting the same matter just after 8.30am with the item being carried described as a knife.
‘Officers were sent to the location and detained a man in handcuffs.
‘The officers also used the red dot function of their Taser due to the initial perceived threat the item the man was carrying may have presented.
‘Once he had been detained it was established the item he was carrying was a pair of shears and he had been trimming some hedges.
‘The officers took the man home.’